It’s almost the end of March and to celebrate, I made this Irish Apple Cake – Irish….St. Patrick’s Day… Well, it’s not green for the occasion, although bright green Granny Smith apples were used in it!
The picture on TheKitchenMcCabe.com was tall, beautiful and looked as light as a feather. I made it in a slightly larger springform pan and mine wasn’t so tall, but still came out pretty and very tasty. It’s a subtly sweet dense coffee-cake texture like no other cake I’ve ever had – maybe that’s what makes it Irish? Don’t know, but it sure was good. I took it to a church function (that’s why there’s no picture of a cut piece) and all but one little piece was eaten, so it seems to be a keeper.
I had a big fight with the custard, so there’s no picture of it here. It wanted to revert to scrambled eggs and it won. I’m including the ingredients for it because if you can make it correctly, it would be divine over this cake. I ended up taking whipped topping and a caramel sauce to put on top of the cake and that was quite good. Still, next time I will perfect the custard and use it. This would be a wonderful cake to have with coffee or a small slice after a substantial dinner, since it’s not overly sweet. I’ll definitely keep this in my recipe files!
Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
***1/2 Adapted from TheKitchenMcCabe.com. Dense, lightly sweet, apple-filled cake.
3 C. flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 oz. Butter (cold)
3/4 C. plus 1 tbsp. sugar
4 large Granny Smith apples (or other firm, tart apples)
3/4 C. milk
2 tbsp. sugar (for top of the cake)
6 large Egg Yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 C. Whole Milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ round spring form pan. Using an 8″ pan will give you a taller cake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces (about 1/2″ square pieces). Place them in a medium bowl and add 1 tbsp. of sugar. Mix lightly to cover apples and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Make sure the bowl is very large to allow room for the apples to be folded in. Cut the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the 3/4 C. sugar to the flour mixture and mix in. Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add to the apples and flour and mix in with a large spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick and dough-like. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of your spatula. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cake.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test the center for doneness. The top of the cake should be golden brown. Serve slices with custard sauce.
FOR THE CUSTARD SAUCE:
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring just barely to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens, about 3 1/2 minutes. Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to bowl or serving saucer.
Serve warm or cold over apple cake.
Tips and Stuff:
Do not over mix the batter or it will be tough.
Next time I would use parchment paper around the inside walls (not bottom) of the pan (still greasing and flouring the bottom). As you can see from the second photo above, the apples on the sides of the cake darkened – didn’t burn, but darkened and caramelized a bit.
Mine was perfectly done at 45 minutes.
Keep the custard on medium-low heat while it thickens or it will begin to curdle at about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat so it will stay creamy and smooth.
Pecans and raisins or currants would be a wonderful addition in this cake.